Party Night for Gelsenkirchen

13 Jun 2005
With Or Without You and Party Girl both turned up last night for the second European show.

Nothing was going to dampen proceedings in Gelsenkirchen last night, not least because the stadium has a roof which meant that the visual spectacle that is 'Vertigo 05' became even more startling.

And right from the off the band moved into high gear. Having torn through Vertigo they went straight into Beautiful Day with a neat lyrica side-alley: 'Despite all my rage, I'm still a rat in a cage.' Billy Corgan - for it is his lyric - was one of the special guests, along with the film director Wim Wenders and the German rock star Herbert Groenemeyer, who has worked with Bono in his campaigning against poverty in Africa.

Although the band shuffled the set list a little at the beginning tonight, the main musical surprises were towards the end when the unmistakeable opening chords of With Or Without You signalled one of the band's biggest ever hits. And soon afterwards came Party Girl, one of their least known tracks - not bad for a b-side from 1982 to be still in the live set!

Running To Stand Still is turning into a real tour beauty as the nights pass and the way it fades, only for the Declaration of Human Rights to appear on the screens, can be spine-tingling. Last night the applause from the German audience for the Articles was huge. And with the breaking news that the Finance Ministers of the G7 countries had reached agreement on extending debt relief to the poorest countries, there was a real sense that 2005 could turn out to be a good year for Africa.

'The dream still goes on,' said Bono, referring to Martin Luther King after 'Pride In The Name of Love'. 'Not just an American dream or a European African dream, African dream.
Sing for Africa
This is the moment
This is our moment
To do what's right

From the heart of Europe
To the plains of Africa
The journey of equality goes on
For Africa..'

With the flags blazing from the huge screen spread like silver paper across the back of the stage, Adam and Bono took a little stroll for 'Streets' down to the tip of the b-stages leaving Edge and Larry playing against a breathtaking wall of molten red light. At this point the roof may well have come off the Schalke Stadium... but such was the euphoria no-one would have noticed.

If the 'cellphone moment' (enhanced tonight by the presence of sparklers in
some sections) feels climactic, the three tracks after the encore - Zoo Station, The Fly and Mysterious Ways - are a visual tour de force. The simple size of the iconic images of the band for Zoo Station are only outdone by the mind-bending velocity of the text commandments for The Fly. As eyelove2funk puts it in the first of our fan reviews of the show
'It is such a pity that such a brilliant show flies by that fast and that we have to
wait such a long time for the next tour.'

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